In the latest issue of Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Portugal’s Left Bloc spokesman Jorge Costa comments on the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone:
Portugal’s left must seize the moment offered by an escalating social struggle and unite around a radical platform of change.
The massive demonstrations on March 2 across Portugal have changed the immediate future of social struggle in our country.
Those who want to avenge the Carnation Revolution of April 25, 1974, now know, after the millions who marched on September 15 and March 2, that large-scale popular mobilisation is not an isolated phenomenon or an occasional cry of the soul. It is the expression of concrete social struggle, a permanent fact of the national situation, of a majority that is speaking out against the cuts that are crushing our society.
The immediate demand of this social mobilisation is the overthrow of the government.
. . .
First, the Left Bloc and the Portuguese Communist Party should demand new elections and together seek a leftist government to break with the Troika.
. . .
The extent of popular mobilisation in Portugal is an example for the rest of Europe. By its scale and the clarity of his cry, inspired by the 1974 revolution. Moreover, violent and unstable [pro-austerity] governments are devastating the entire European periphery.
Comrade Costa’s exhortation to the Portuguese Communist Party and other leftists to instigate revolution in Lisbon and throughout the debt-stricken southern “periphery” of the European Union was foreseen by some observers who admitted, after the (managed) demise of the Soviet Union, that communism could experience a resurgence in the midst of economic crisis. For example, The Encyclopedia of Revolutions and Revolutionaries, assembled by a world-wide team of academics, warns, under the entry for “Communism”:
The collapse of the Soviet Union was followed by that of communism in its east European satellites, all of which reformed themselves between 1989-1991. The results of decades of Communist domination now stood there for all to see: mostly these took the form of poverty, technological backwardness and, in places, extreme damage to the environment and even a declining life expectancy of the population. Except for a few diehards, the spectacle took away communism’s last adherents in the developed countries as well as in most developing ones. As of this writing, in 1994, only one country, namely Cuba, remains strictly Communist. All the rest have either committed themselves to a market economy based on private property and capitalism or, in a few cases such as China (and, most recently, Vietnam), to rapid capitalist development under the continued tutelage of a Communist party. Communism, without a doubt the greatest revolutionary movement of all time, has failed for the time being, nor does a credible successor appear on the horizon. Yet many of the circumstances that originally led to communism, such as extreme and widespread poverty, exploitation and class warfare still persist. Should market economies fail to solve or at least to alleviate these problems, as seems likely to happen in many countries, then in one form or another it [communism] may yet return (Martin van Creveld, chief editor. New York: Facts on File, 1996).